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July 18, 2014

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Heather Thorstensen
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Sigma Xi Helps Artist Bring Love Motels for Insects to RTP180

Brandon Ballengee RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, North Carolina—Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society helped showcase entomology-themed art last night at RTP180: Art in the Triangle.

An artist and researcher from New York City, Brandon Ballengee, creates Love Motels for Insects. These art installations are built with canvas, sometimes shaped like insects, and lit with ultraviolet light to attract bugs.

"He has designed them specifically to encourage people to watch the insects' evening mating rituals," writes Leila Christine Nadir, who wrote about Ballengee's art. Her article was published in the March-April 2014 issue of Sigma Xi's magazine, American Scientist.

At RTP180, Ballengee and other speakers mostly discussed connections between art and science. Speakers represented University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the North Carolina Museum of Art, Carolina Performing Arts, Hopscotch Design and Music Festivals, Triangle Artworks, and Duke University. Approximately 300 people attended.

Before and after the talks, attendees could see two Love Motels for Insects, armed with a magnifying glass and bug identification sheet from Sigma Xi. Love Motels for InsectsThe ID sheet was prepared by Mary Jane Epps and Else Youngsteadt of North Carolina State University.

Top photo: Brandon Ballengee talks about his Love Motels for Insects July 17 at RTP180: Art in the Triangle.

Bottom photo: Ballengee's Love Motels for Insects glow with ultraviolet lights to attract bugs.

Related content:
RTP180 photo album on Sigma Xi's Facebook page.

WUNC's article about Ballengee's art at RTP180.

Sigma Xi's press release announcing the event.

More About Sigma Xi: Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society is the international honor society of science and engineering. One of the oldest and largest scientific organizations in the world, Sigma Xi has a distinguished history of service to science and society for more than a century. Scientists and engineers, whose research spans the disciplines of science and technology, comprise the membership of the Society. Sigma Xi chapters can be found at colleges and universities, government laboratories, and industry research centers around the world. More than 200 Noble Prize winners have been members. The Society is based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. www.sigmaxi.org. On Twitter: @SigmaXiSociety.

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